Facebook Games, The Grapes of Wrath, And a World of We

March 30, 2011

Oh – The Grapes of Wrath are spreading across Facebook Games like Kudzu

Social Games

Wildly embraced initially, Facebook games have become a huge disappointment to players. Hundreds of millions of farms have been abandoned, crops have withered, propeller capped sheep are on the verge of extinction, and farmers aren’t talking to their friends. The good news is that the flood of game-related wall spam has passed. But it didn’t just happen to Farmville. It happened across the board; Facebook games are failing to retain and entertain a restless market of 500+ Million Facebook gamers.

Game industry experts like Playdom Creative Director David Rohrl somehow got it wrong about what casual game play should be in a social game. As Rohrl himself noted, the social gaming space is not straightforward. One of the obvious fails was that social game companies fell into trap of thinking that graphics can substitute for game play. If only that were true, the economics would be unreal! On the other hand, players wanted more cuteness. They demanded it in the forums. Clicks confirmed it.

Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, however, cautioned against falling into the rut of crowd sourcing. “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have told me, ‘A faster horse,’” observed the American industrialist. According to Jay Elliot, Ford’s caution is often quoted by Steve Jobs, founder of Apple. Read the rest of this entry »